Interview
The Serene Space

Jo Tutchener-Sharp

The Scamp & Dude founder shows us around her tranquil home

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Founder of Scamp & Dude, the super-cute kids’ brand providing children with their own superhero sidekicks, Jo Tutchener-Sharp is a superwoman in her own right. After a health scare in late 2015 that found her away from her two sons, the ex PR maven devised the collection of ultra-cool clothing, toys and accessories to give little ones an extra sense of security when they need it most. Tutchener-Sharp also brings this ethos into her home, creating a serene, comforting family haven – punctuated with graphic art prints, creative storage solutions and soothing objects. We made our way to North London to take a look around.

How long have you lived in your home?We have lived here for five years, although I have lived in this area (Crouch End) for around 11 years.

How often are you here?My office is at home so I spend most of my time here. We live in a really green part of London and our garden backs onto lots of other gardens so I work to the sound of tweeting birds, which is just lovely. I need quiet when I work, especially when I am designing so it is the perfect working environment for me.

What’s the first thing you do when you walk through the door?When I have dropped the kids at school/nursery I get back to the house, make a large coffee and head up to my office. I light a candle (usually Le Labo Santal) open my laptop and start my day. I absolutely love the feeling of calm in my office and the excitement each morning not knowing what the day will bring. That is one of the things I love most about Scamp & Dude, you really don’t know what is going to happen from one day to the next!

How would you describe your interior style?My interior style is a mix of English eclectic and modern vintage. I don’t stick to any one style, I just create rooms that we love to be in and a style for each space that suits their use. I love street art, so I have some grafitti style art in one room in the house, but then the next room might have more of an elegant modern vintage style with ornate French mirrors and chandeliers. It is a real mix.

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How did you go about decorating each room?I tend to style each room depending on what we use the space for and what atmosphere I want to create.
Our bedroom is really serene, it has quite an elegant grown up feel using pale green and blush tones on the walls and furnishings. Soft watercolour and pencil drawings of owls and flamingoes hang on the wall alongside ornate mirrors and crystal chandeliers.

It is a really peaceful room as this is where we sleep and relax. Sleep becomes such a thing when you have children, so I have tried to create the best environment to relax in the hope we can have as much sleep as we possibly can.

The playroom is a complete contrast, we have a strong grey/blue colour on the walls and a neon pink grafitti style zebra on the wall.
 It’s playful and inspiring full objects from the jungle such as flamingoes, pineapples, parrots and zebras.

We’ve chosen graphic and street art for the walls in the playroom with pops of colour to create an inspiring fun place to be.

The bathroom has more of a modern vintage feel, a large roll top bath, ornate mirrors, pretty glass perfume bottles, and a beautiful Indian rug used as a bath mat.
 My favourite item in the bathroom is a vintage mirrored glass cabinet which we use to hold all of our shells we have collected on various holidays.

We know exactly which shells came from which holiday and talk to the boys about them reminiscing about the time we found them together. It’s like a little holiday memory cabinet.

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Where did you look to for inspiration?I am inspired by lots of things, trips abroad, interiors in restaurants, magazines, great interior blogs like The Pink House, Pinterest, Instagram. Instagram is very dangerous for impulse buys.

Which room is your favourite?The boys’ bedroom is my favourite room, I find myself lying with them at night while they fall asleep, looking around their room and thinking of extra little things to add or change. It’s a passion of mine to create a really magical space for them. You need to adapt kids rooms as they get older so it’s a never ending project to keep their room up to date and inspiring for them. I like the space to feel calm and serene seeing as it is where they sleep, but to have plenty for them to look at and to inspire them as they fall asleep. I use wall stickers a lot as they are so easy to change and update as their tastes change and they find new interests. We have our Scamp & Dude Kiss Catching Wall Stickers above their beds and some lovely moon and planet wall stickers from The Bright Company. We also have a wall sticker that is a large map of the world which they love looking at, it shows what animals live in which country and we look at where we have been and talk about where we would like to go next. Most of the art in the boys’ room is by Wonder and Rah as they create such stylish kids’ art. We have a large leopard print which is personalised which is the boys’ current favourite. There’s plenty of bunting and ornate mobiles hanging from the ceiling which are also easy to update and change to suit their interests and ages. A wigwam sits in the corner, which they sometimes have their bedtime stories in with their Superhero Sleep Buddies. It is definitely the most magical room in the house.

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Is this where you spend the most time?Every evening I spend time in the boys’ room putting them to bed and I love that time. But I spend most of my time in my office, which is on the top floor. It used to be Jude’s bedroom until Scamp & Dude was born and I needed an office and a packing room at home. Jude moved in with Sonny to make way for a storage room for Scamp & Dude, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise as both boys sleep so much better in the same room. It’s been a massive turning point for both of them on the sleep front (and for us!). My office looks out over the garden so it’s a lovely view, we have huge trees at the bottom of the garden so it’s really calming which is perfect for an office. I am in the middle of decorating it now the stock has moved out and I can turn it into a really great working space.

What can we expect to find within your home?Something different in each room. Each room has a slightly different feel. The playroom is painted a grey/blue shade and has a jungle theme with zebras, flamingos, pineapples and butterflies.

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Is there anything that might surprise us?I like to store the kids’ toys in ottomans, wicker baskets and even two vintage champagne trugs. I don’t believe toys have to be stored in plastic colourful storage units, you can be clever about storage and keep your playroom looking stylish too. Some people are surprised by my love of street art. I have some pieces which I love but my husband isn’t so keen on so they remain in my office. A large Sex Pistols ‘Pretty Vacant’ Jamie Reid print in fluro pink and orange and a Grafitti mermaid by Faile.

Do you have a favourite object, or piece of furniture?I have an original signed Sex Pistols print by Jamie Reed, I had it up in the playroom until Sonny started to read and asked me what Sex meant! It has now been replaced with a neon pink zebra and will go into my office. I also really love my vintage mirrored glass cabinet we use to hold shells we collect together on holiday. Another of my favourite objects is an ornate gold compact perfume that my mum gave me when I went to university so I could open it and smell her whenever I felt homesick. It is Estée Lauder Youth Dew inside and I still have it next to my bed today.

Does your home double up as your workspace?I work from our home so it’s even more important to me that I love spending time here. When Scamp & Dude first started we used to pack all online orders from here so the house was full of boxes and keeping on top of the mess that comes with two kids and running a business from home was impossible. I started to fall out of love with our home, but once we moved Scamp & Dude out and reclaimed our home, I started updating each room to make it feel special again.

What do you think makes for a happy home?
I think you need to create a place that makes you happy, don’t just follow trends and use the latest hot colours or fabrics because you think you should. You need to create a style that suits you and your family. Choose colours that make you happy. There is a pop if hot pink in most of our rooms, it’s my favourite colour and manages to make it’s way into every room.

What are your favourite Liberty fabrics?
My current favourites are Birds of Paradise and Milky Way.

Can you share a Liberty memory?My favourite Liberty moment has to be meeting I had with the head buyer, we were sat in the coffee shop and I revealed Scamp & Dude (it was my first and only buyer meeting pre launch). I was really nervous, but she told me there and then that she loved it and would take the lot! I managed to keep it together until I got outside, then burst out crying and called my husband and my parents to tell them we were going to be stocked in Liberty! I was sobbing my heart out on Regent Street as it was a dream come true.

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Scamp & Dude’s Sleep Buddies are designed to help children with separation anxiety, featuring a pocket on the back to hold your photo. For every one sold, Scamp & Dude donate another to a child who has lost a parent or is seriously ill themselves.

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